Whether it's a giant solar flare or a beautiful green-blue aurora, just about everything interesting in space weather happens due to a phenomenon called magnetic reconnection. Reconnection occurs when magnetic field lines cross and create a burst of energy. These bursts can be so energetic they could be measured in megatons of TNT. To study this phenomenon, NASA is readying a fleet of four identical spacecraft, the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission, for a planned launch in 2014.
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